Call for Papers

2019 Call for Papers and Proposals:

Writing by Degrees, one of the nation’s oldest graduate student-run writing conferences, is now accepting proposals. We invite submissions by graduate students, published writers, and writing professionals for readings of creative and scholarly works as well as presentations that engage with the process, pedagogy, theories, production, and circulation of writing. All forms of writing are creative, and therefore we hope to hear from not only poets, fiction writers, and memoirists but also journalists, essayists, playwrights, screenwriters, scholars, publishers, editors, and teachers of writing. This year we are seeking a variety of interpretations of the term “community” in an effort to explore connections among dissimilar fields, cultural spaces, and political concerns.

 “Big Questions” we are interested in exploring: What counts as (creative) writing? Who counts as a (creative) writer? Who counts as a reader? An audience? And how do writers connect with them? What role do writers, publishers, and/or teachers of writing play in articulating, disseminating, and defending “truth” in the era of “alternative facts” and “fake news”? How are social media and digital technologies changing the process, craft, and/or consumption of writing? How do writers create community among themselves and with the larger world? How can these communities cultivate true diversity and inclusion? What does it mean to write from the margins or from a marginalized subject position? How can writers be effective “allies” of marginalized groups or people? How can writers and writing communities intersect meaningfully with political movements such as Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, etc.? What is “the writing life,” and how should writers go about creating such a life? How can writers maximize their chances of publishing in different genres and venues? How should writers market themselves? How do marketing strategies shift based on genre? How can writers build a career in academia, publishing, or other creative fields?

Submission Guidelines: By January 28, 2019 please send the following information as a .doc(x) or .pdf to

  1. Cover letter with your name, institutional/professional affiliation, and publication history (if any); contact information (email, phone number, mailing address); and genre of the proposal (academic, creative, and/or professional).
  2. Abstract or Excerpt (with your full name and page number on each page):  academic submissions, include abstract of 350 words or less; non-fiction and/or fiction submissions, including a 2-4 page excerpt; poetry submissions, include 3-5 poems, not to exceed 5 pages; panel submissions, include three linked abstracts/excerpts with a short paragraph explaining the overarching theme (panel submissions may cross genres).

2017 Call for Papers and Panels:

Writing by Degrees, the nation’s oldest graduate-run creative writing conference, is now accepting paper and panel proposals for its 2017 event— a two-day celebration of writing, pedagogy, and community building at Binghamton University’s Downtown Center.We invite exciting and high-quality submissions by graduate students for creative readings and academic panels. Poets, prose writers, essayists, and critics from all theoretic and aesthetic backgrounds are welcome. Possible academic topics include creative writing pedagogy, craft across the genres, critical theory and creative work, the role of writing in the political world, and the creative writing job market.All panels will be 90 minutes in length, with individual presentations and readings not to exceed 20 minutes. Submission Deadline: February 1st


Please send the following as an attachment in .doc or .docx format to wbdconference@gmail.com1) A cover letter containing the following information: author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information (email, phone number, mailing address), and the genre of the proposal, e.g. academic or creative. Creative proposals should also include a short bio.2) An abstract for academic proposals or a creative excerpt for readings. Academic abstracts should not exceed 350 words; creative nonfiction and fiction submissions should include a 2-4 page excerpt; poetry submissions should include 3-5 poems, not to exceed 5 pages. Please include your full name and page numbers on all material. If Submitting a Panel Topic, please provide the three linked abstracts/excerpts with a short paragraph explaining the overarching theme. Panel submissions may cross genres. All questions concerning the conference should be sent to No conference registration fee will be charged to BU graduate students.